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The impact of food and economic crises on diet and nutrition

  • Ralitza Dimova
  • Ira N. Gang
  • Monnet B. P. Gbakou
  • Daniel Hoffman

Abstract Skyrocketing staple food prices in combination with falling incomes around the world raised serious concerns among policy makers, media and the public at large over the past few years. We rigorously explore the dietary and nutritional implications of such shocks in a before, during and after manner. We find not only a tendency of households to reallocate their consumption baskets during a crisis, but also a dramatic change in the income and price elasticities of demand for both food and nutrients. Our results challenge the implicit assumption of relatively low and invariable price and income elasticities of demand for food and nutrition in the existing literature and have potentially important policy implications.

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File URL: http://www.bwpi.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/publications/working_papers/bwpi-wp-17512.pdf
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Paper provided by BWPI, The University of Manchester in its series Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series with number 17512.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bwp:bwppap:17512
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  1. Kuo S. Huang, 1996. "Nutrient Elasticities in a Complete Food Demand System," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(1), pages 21-29.
  2. Ecker, Olivier & Qaim, Matin, 2011. "Analyzing Nutritional Impacts of Policies: An Empirical Study for Malawi," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 412-428, March.
  3. Kodde, D A & Palm, Franz C & Pfann, G A, 1990. "Asymptotic Least-Squares Estimation Efficiency Considerations and Applications," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(3), pages 229-43, July-Sept.
  4. McKelvey, Christopher, 2011. "Price, unit value, and quality demanded," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 157-169, July.
  5. Preston, Ian & Laisney, François & Crawford, Ian A., 2002. "Estimation of Household Demand Systems with Theoretically Compatible Engel Curves and Unit Value Specifications," ZEW Discussion Papers 97-06 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  6. Steven Stillman & Duncan Thomas, 2008. "Nutritional Status During an Economic Crisis: Evidence from Russia," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1385-1417, 08.
  7. Diagana, Bocar & Akindes, Francis & Savadogo, Kimseyinga & Reardon, Thomas & Staatz, John, 1999. "Effects of the CFA franc devaluation on urban food consumption in West Africa: overview and cross-country comparisons," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 465-478, October.
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